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Either Die a Hero

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That evening saw Saren reluctantly drawn into a game of cards by a deviously compelling Nihlus, who applied just the right about of annoyance, charm, wit, and guile to get the antisocial Spectre to agree, without crossing any lines that would get his face clawed off. He managed it skillfully.

 

“You have six cards, Nihlus. Discard one.” said Saren as he played an Age of Knights, upside-down. The green eyed Spectre was cheating again. Somewhat impaired by trying to do so against two very observant individuals. He complied, grudgingly, and played a Song of Autumn.

 

Garrus smirked at him across the table, pleased to be getting some sort of small vengeance for the vid-call fiasco that morning, and discarded a card, drawing a new one in it's place.

 

Saren tapped a card thoughtfully on the table, before playing it as well. A Sacrifice of Knights, also played upside-down.

 

Nihlus sweated nervously, determined to win. The lowest score of the night had to do all of the general chores tomorrow, and he was behind. He despised doing janitorial work with a passion. He discarded two cards, and drew new ones.

 

Icy blue eyes swiveled between the two Spectres. He was up for the night, and wanted to keep it that way. He looked at the other silver plated torin, a difficult read, the only tell Saren seemed to have was the occasional light swallow for particularly good or bad hands. His gaze turned to the focus of his revenge. If he lost to Saren, so be it, but he wasn't going to loose to Nihlus.

 

'Time for some intimidation,' he thought, playing both the Mercy of Songs and the Twilight of Songs at once. He looked up, slowly drawing his eyes up from the table to meet Nihlus' vivid green stare. 'That's right, Kryik. No way for you to get a full suit of Songs now.'

 

Nihlus let out a slow huff of air from his nostrils.

 

Saren let out a hum, subvocals flat, and set down a pair in the Daggers suit, played normally.

 

In a fit of frustration, Nihlus discarded his full hand and redrew. 'Oh... oh yes...'

 

Garrus flared his mandibles at Nihlus, simultaneously laying down a Temerity of Songs, the proverbial glove tossed.

 

A tongue-click came from the other side of the table, scalpel sharp talons laying down an Angel of Truth and Angel of Fortitude, giving the older Spectre a 2 pair of positive cards upright, double pair of negative cards, one set up-one set down. A dangerously good spread.

 

Nihlus began an evil, over-dramatic chuckle. Full-on mad scientist cackles breaking through as he, one by one, laid out The Serpents of Deceit, Avarice, Decay, Sadness, and Remorse, all upside down.

 

“You've got to be kidding me. You got that in one hand? No way.” he laid out a pair of Knights, Dawn and Roses, upright.

 

“Read 'em and weep, pretty boy. Five serpents, just for you Blue.” Nihlus drawled lasciviously, and proceeded to make a terrible approximation of a blown-kiss. Saren made a sound of disgust, and quickly set down a single Serpent Entwined Dagger before taking a drink of water.

 

Having drawn a completely fresh hand after laying them all out, Nihlus' next card was of course, the Angel of Death, ending the game.

 

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today... to witness the complete and utter devastation of Garrus Vakarian by the amazing and awe-inspiring Nihlus Kr-Oh shi-!” He was cut off as Garrus dove around the table, checking under the lip of the edge for spare cards, bodily lifting the Spectre up to check under him for spares. There were of course none to be found. Nihlus was far too sneaky for that.

 

Held bodily midair, trying to not show how aroused it got him that Garrus could literally dead-lift a fully grown Turian, he decided to do what he usually did in these situations. Make it worse. He kicked his legs forward, up over hip spurs, wrapping them around the torin's waist. Tossing his weight forward, and his arms around the attractively looping collar before him, Nihlus leaned in and stage-whispered.

 

“If you wanted to get up close and personal, all you had to do is ask. You want me to teach you some... card tricks?” Garrus just took a steadying step back, and sighed profoundly, head tilted back and neck barred in an over dramatic gesture of surrender to the whole situation.

 

Nihlus had to swallow back an appreciative subvocal purr at the sight of all that smooth brown hide. 'Must not bite, must not bite...'

 

“Arterius, did you teach him these lines? Please tell me he didn't learn pick up lines such as 'You want me to teach you some card tricks' during Spectre training. I don't think I can handle it if it is true. In fact, just lie to me if it is.”

 

“No. I do not claim responsibility for any of his... one-liners.”

 

“Thank the spirits for small mercies.”